In May 2015, S&T welcomed Chief Scientist Dr. Kevin Brown to the senior management team. Dr. Brown and the newly reinvigorated Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) will provide new ways to monitor technology advancement (both within and outside S&T) and to capitalize on these technology advancements at a rapid pace. This work allows S&T as a whole to enhance its impact on DHS’s mission to protect Americans and our homeland. I want to take a moment to highlight a few of the OCS initiatives gaining momentum and having impact across S&T.
OCS applies a scientifically sound, ‘big data’ analysis approach to support our investment, portfolio management, and partnership decision making. By tackling the challenge of improving our internal data quality and coverage and combining it with technology innovation data from around the world, we can drive the right technology development for homeland security. They are applying some of the most promising anticipatory analytic methods developed at places like the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity to help anticipate rather than react to events and technical innovations; and we’ve hired a Chief Analytics Officer to lead this work.
The innovation landscape is rapidly changing, and determining the right mix of basic research, applied research, development, partnering, and scanning of the technical landscape for technology adoption is a challenging equation. One study OCS is leading, explores best practices in effectively using a mix of these modes of investment in the private and public sector to maximize the impact of S&T’s investments. This type of focused strategic planning and study capability to anticipate future needs will continue to be a valuable asset for years to come.
Assisting S&T in fostering innovative solutions for high-priority challenges is a key responsibility for the Chief Scientist and OCS. An important current initiative is defining the technical framework to measure and enhance DHS’s ability to mitigate the threat of small unmanned aerial systems. Looking forward, I expect OCS to work across all elements of S&T to rapidly and efficiently leverage existing technology via integrated prototypes to meet high-priority, short-term component needs. The effectiveness of this rapid response prototype team will be evaluated to see if it is making the desired impact on DHS’s mission and will be continued and expanded, if appropriate. This effort will complement our enduring commitment to longer-term research and development to meet homeland security requirements and fill identified gaps.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology